Born: October 17, 1930 (Edmonton, Canada)
Died: December 29, 2016 (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Betty-Jean Hagen was a Canadian-born violinist and music educator who lived in the United States. She studied violin in Edmonton with Nicol Hagen and in 1937 and 1938 won awards at the Alberta Music Festival. From 1938-1939 she studied with Ludwig Becker at the Chicago Conservatory. Two years later World War II erupted and the Hagens were obliged to return to Canada.
During the early 1940s she played with the Edmonton Philharmonic and in 1946 she moved to Calgary where she played with the Calgary Symphony Orchestra. From 1949 to 1951 she studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Geza de Kresz.
Ms. Hagen was named a winner of the Naumburg Competition in 1950. In 1951 she went on to study with Ivan Galamian at the Juilliard School, and in 1952, made her London debut.
In 1953, she was named "Woman of the Year" in music by the Canadian press and received the Carl Flesch Medal from the Guildhall School of Music, and in 1955, she received the Leventritt Foundation Award. Ms. Hagen would perform with major orchestras: New York Philharmonic, Cleveland and Pittsburgh Orchestras, London Philharmonic and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, among others.
She was concertmaster of the Westchester Symphony Orchestra, the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, the Orange County Chamber Orchestra and Hudson Valley Philharmonic. In 1985, she began teaching at Vassar College where for twenty years she was Professor of Music. Ms. Hagen lived in Pleasant Valley, New York.